Jody Sime of Plants Plus takes a closer look at the nursery’s fresh herb range.
Jody Sime of Plants Plus takes a closer look at the nursery’s fresh herb range. David Nielsen

Boost winter health with herbs

WHILE the cooler change means that the start of the cold and flu season is almost upon us, the secret to avoiding the nasty winter bugs may just lie in the backyard herb garden.

Glebe Garden Club president Mavis Wakefield said herbs had more than just culinary uses.

Mrs Wakefield said plants such as chives, garlic and chilli could all help to build people’s immune system and ward off colds and flu.

She said parsley also packed a powerful punch.

“Parsley is a herb that nobody should miss having in their garden,” Mrs Wakefield said.

“It is a rich source of vitamin C.

“It is commonly used as a garnish, but is also lovely in soups, stews and cold salads.”

Mrs Wakefield said soothing hot tisanes made from crushing the leaves of herbs such as lemon balm could be used to help bring down fevers, while hot drinks made with lemon grass were a valuable source of Vitamin A, a vitamin which helps to ward off illness.

Raceview-based Plants Plus owner Brad Riches said by picking herbs straight from the garden, people were able to ensure their herbs were fresh and packed full of healthy nutrients.

“There is nothing like going out into your backyard and picking your own fresh herbs,” he said.

“They enhance your meal.

“People are buying more herbs and experimenting more with their cooking, especially with the number of cooking shows around.”

He said herbs were easier to look after during the cooler months as they required less attention.

To encourage readers to make the most of the upcoming winter, The Queensland Times will be adding to their gardening armoury.

From Saturday the newspaper will give away a packet of herb seeds with every newspaper sold for seven days.

Herbs on offer include parsley, thyme and chives.